We’ve had the Durham Dash – now the Somerset Rave!

‘Chaos’ as hundreds pack illegal rave – and continue to arrive at 10am

Locals have described the scene as “chaos”, with the “out of control” event near Bath in Somerset attracting “hundreds and hundreds” of partygoers.

Is this just post lockdown “exuberance” or are people getting the message that Boris and many of his close confidants have strong libertarian leanings? – Owl

Police have blasted “selfish” revellers after a 15-hour stand-off at a huge illegal rave which could be heard 10 miles away.

Stunned neighbours said people were still arriving at 10am today.

Locals have described the scene as “chaos”, with the “out of control” event near Bath in Somerset attracting “hundreds and hundreds” of partygoers.

Police were inundated with calls about the massive party near overnight, and it was still going strong this morning, with crowds ignoring social distancing rules.

It comes as police across the UK battle against rising numbers of illegal gatherings – with two officers injured in clashes in London on Friday.

Huge crowds of ravers descended on the beauty spot in Upper Swainswick, Somerset, late last night, with loud music reported from midnight onwards.

Describing the scene this morning, neighbour Sean Duggan, who was walking with his wife, told Somerset Live : “I’m surprised this chaos is allowed to go on.

“I think its a case of pure stupidity and lack of control…seems all very one sided when the poor residents have to put up with it.

“It’s very out of control .. we got stopped by two ravers who wouldn’t let us past ..it was a bit scary.. I said to my wife, let’s go.”

He said: “(There are) cars parked up all the way up the bypass (A46) on the grass verges.. lots of people around. It would appear to be rave culture fans. The event looks well organised for rave party lovers.”

Mr Duggan added: “People are still arriving. They seem to have a bus going up and down the hill and a white lorry we seen a good few times.

“I counted about three police and hundreds and hundreds of people.”

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said: “We had the first report of a potential unlicensed music event near Bath at 11.21pm on Saturday 18 July.

“Officers attended within 10 minutes, quickly established there were already several hundred people at the location – the former Charmy Down airfield, Upper Swainswick – and called for further resources.

“We had dedicated extra patrols on duty last night to respond to any reported unlicensed music events across the force area. These units were immediately deployed to this incident.

“Officers closed off the approach routes, however people were abandoning vehicles and making their way to the site on foot. Officers were still turning vehicles away at 6.40am today, Sunday 19 July.

“A full risk assessment last night concluded that the potential risks to public safety of an intervention to close an event attended by more than 3000 people in dark and wet conditions were too great.

“There were also other significant incidents across the force area including 120 999 calls which required an immediate police response and the attention of our resources. Therefore the decision was taken to contain the event until daylight hours.”

Chief Superintendent Ian Wylie added: “We’re working with neighbouring forces and other agencies including Bath and North East Somerset Council, highways, and the ambulance service to close down this event in a controlled way and ensure those attending are able to disperse safely.

“We’re sorry for the disruption caused to so many residents by the selfish actions of the organisers of this event and those attending, knowing the problems it would cause and the ongoing risk to public health of large gatherings due to COVID-19.

“We will take appropriate action against those responsible and would ask anyone with evidence which could help to get in touch, quoting reference 1414 of 18 July.”

Another neighbour said: “Residents woke up to loud, thumping music around 5am, didn’t know what it was.

“Usually the only sound in Bath on a Sunday morning is church bells.

“Swainswick valley is a stunning beauty sport, popular with walkers.

“A beautiful little hamlet nestled just behind the hills of Lansdown in the valley, a bit like the Sound of Music.”

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